Hello everyone, I thought that I put another post on here before but somehow it never seemed to make it. I don't have much time to be reflective right now, but I will in less than a month because I'll be at my post in a town named Vogan and I will have lots of time on my hand. The first step is to set up my house, study French, and really learn how to cook for myself. When I lived in Holland I was able to get away with buying lunch meat at the store and making a sandwich. But here it's a little different. I'm going to have to be a little bit more resourceful than I ever have before. Fortunately I have some friends nearby, we'll get together and be domestic from time to time. I hope to learn how to make Banana bread and Carrot cake with a Dutch oven. I'm really pretty excited about this.
But I'm also a bit concerned with all the excess time that I will have on my hands. I intend to spend a fair amount of time shadowing my homologue (my Togolese counterpart) and figuring out exactly what it is that he does. The language barrier is still huge, I feel like so much of these first few months will just involve getting down the basics of communication. There really isn't much work that I can do before I can speak in French. But I'm also lucky in this respect, my homologue studied for three months in Canada and is really well educated. He speaks French well and when I find myself searching for a word or a verb tense he is able to provide me with great feedback. He also reads English, and probably speaks more than he will let me know, so when I search for a word I can say the English and usually get the French translation on the spot. And he's a really great guy. I like seeing how he treats his family and friends. He's well respected in the community and has been a pleasure to work with thus far.
But time, time, time, so much time to sit around and think. This past week has involved a lot of thinking while in Vogan. It will be a struggle to stay busy during the beginning here, to stay sane, to find some work. Well anyway, I'll write more soon. I'm getting ready to head back to the training site where I will march through another three weeks of language and technical instruction. Sometimes I question how useful the technical instruction is, but then again it's impossible for me to know at this point. I'll just have faith for now. And language, I'm excited to start working on that some more. We took mid term language fluency tests before we left for our post visits and I am considered "Intermediate Low" I was "Novice Low" when I got here, so I guess that's an improvement. I have to be "Intermediate High" by the end of three weeks. We'll see. Time, lots of time.
Oh and I have another post saved on my computer than I need to upload. It might take a few weeks, but I'll get it up eventually.
Love you all,